One important detail that some pet owners overlook is pest control. Even with the greatest care, household pets like dogs and cats can become magnets to pests like fleas, ticks, and mites. Fortunately, instead of using pesticide, there are a couple of natural tricks you can use at home to prevent a pest outbreak from occurring. Here are three simple pest control methods you can start off with.
Suggested: Pet Safety: Outdoor Pests Edition
Employ the Good Bugs
Pests like fleas and ticks give insects a bad reputation. Fortunately, there are beneficial insects out there that will help you eliminate the bad bugs. Examples of beneficial bugs include spiders, praying mantises, and ground beetles. These bugs maintain a good reputation among gardeners because they, for the most part, leave garden crops alone and feast on the pests instead. Attracting the good bugs is a great way to maintain a pest-free backyard.
To attract the good bugs, there are typically three factors that need to be fulfilled. First, make sure there are places for the insects to shelter. The definition of shelter will differ for each beneficial bug so be sure to do your due diligence. For example, ground beetles like to hang around in tall grass so it may not hurt to have a patch of long grass in an isolated corner of the garden. Second, make sure there is a source of water. Third, make sure you don’t completely eradicate the pest population. Otherwise, the good bugs will wander elsewhere to find a food source. Your pets will surely appreciate having these little predators around the backyard.
Grow Pest-Repelling Plants
Our second tip is to grow pest-repelling plants along the borders of the backyard. Some plant species have built up pest-repelling properties as defensive mechanisms. Popular pest-repelling plants include lavender, parsley, peppermint, and spearmint.
As you research these plants, do not forget to also check for their toxicity levels. Certain pest-repelling plants can be toxic to dogs and cats. An example is chrysanthemum. Unfortunately, this beautiful flowering plant can produce a chemical called pyrethrin, which could cause pet poisoning.
DIY Pest Traps
Last but not least, you could also create your own natural pest traps as a temporary measure. A common natural ingredient used to create pest traps is diatomaceous earth (be sure to use the food-grade version). This white powder will feel like shattered glass for insects. The powder works by piercing the exoskeleton of the pests. Eventually, the insects will die from dehydration as all the inner body fluid dries out. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is safe for humans and pets and a great pest control alternative.
About the Author
Sam Choan is a gardening enthusiast who likes to blog about topics related to sustainability, conservation, and natural DIY. Check out his blog Organic Lesson to learn more about his experiences in green living.
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